Microsoft absolutely loves to continuously change everything up within its portfolio of products. Let it be a random act of refreshing a product’s image or a random act of boredom, products are re-named, rebranded, and changed around all the time to stay fresh within the company. Xbox Live happens to be the next product in the queue for just this–now, being referred to as “Xbox network”.
The new name is apparently an attempt by Microsoft to make it easier to decipher the difference between the overall network and the “Xbox Live Gold” memberships. Therefore, if you are a subscriber, it would mean that you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber of the Xbox network. It’s the same network as before, just with a new name.
Given, we have never run into anyone who was confused by the difference between Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold. It was a perfectly suitable naming method. Now, however, they may have to rename Xbox Live Gold as well, as the “Live” no longer makes as much sense as it clearly did before. Maybe just drop “Live” from the name completely at this point.
Xbox network does also seem a bit generic, which might conflict with the basic drives of marketing (ie, making something sound appealing). So I wouldn’t be surprised if they go through another naming phase as they continue to re-discover themselves.
Either way, Microsoft has (thus far) confirmed the change to the new name. It has already been seen in preview releases of the Xbox dashboard software (Xbox Insider Program) and will soon slowly roll out to the public. Assuming they don’t change the name again sooner than I am predicting (by end of the year). Microsoft has been trying to make moves, while also taking back some of these moves, changing others, and completely confusing the heck out of it all to a point that we no longer have a single idea of what’s going through their minds.
Since it is only popping up for users with the preview release of the dashboard software, nothing is in stone yet. It would be more than easy for them to change it a few more times before falling upon something they like. It will be interesting to see what they end up running with as some of these changes they have been playing with could be a make it or break it experience for so many gamers.
What do you think? Do you agree with the change? Did you ever find it confusing before? Do you think they will go with something different? Do you think they will back out of this too and go back to calling it Xbox Live? Whatever is on your mind, feel free to share it below in the comments.